I’m stranded in Romney, West Virginia and maybe it’s no coincidence. You’re the only one I know in four hundred miles. Autumn’s tugging at me, stirring memories I thought forgotten. The Lost River cabin where we pledged love, hiking along that murky river, smelling wood smoke and bacon, drinking coffee from chipped mugs.

What we fought about? I don’t know. You said we should agree to disagree, but me, well, I’d argue until I was blue in the face, bellowing at your disappearing back, the green flannel of your shirt melding with the red cedars.

The last time there were tears and anger tamping down vestiges of love. Wounds stretching deeper, paining further. Angry words scratched, festering lacerations. We let each other go, like releasing the string on a helium balloon, never witnessing its demise under pressure.

I kept your number. Transferred it to each phone. Touched your name. Used that picture of you from when you shaved your beard and looked about twelve. Said your name late at night when the wind roared and the skies were steel. I said your name once, when making love with someone else.

I’m stranded here in Romney with no one else to call.

end 9/28/2016

S. Darlington

4 thoughts on “Stranded

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